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The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect?

 

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skydived19006  (D 19006)

Feb 7, 2006, 6:21 AM
Post #1 of 261 (7749 views)
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     The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect?  

I’m sure that most Kansas City area skydivers are aware of the new Turbine DZ opening south of KC April 1. The Kansas City Skydiving Center will be located at Harrisonville, Missouri, 30 miles south of KC in Missouri.

I’m curious what Chris Hall (Skydive Kansas City) and Tom Dolphin (MRVS) think about the new turbine DZ. I’d think that this new DZ may put Skydive Kansas City out of business (placed between KC MO and SDKC), and put a big hurt on MRVS.

This is America, and it is a free market. Competition is a hazard Tom, and Chris took when they placed their DZs in this market. It’ll be interesting to see how the next couple of years go, and what the fall out is.

How much of the instructional staff in the area will “gravitate” to this new DZ? I’m sure that all but the most loyal fun jumper population will abandon their old 182 DZ homes in a ‘cocaine heartbeat’ for a caravan going 3,000’ to 4,000’ higher for the same money. SDKC will take a very large proportion of the student traffic (and needs to, to survive!). Paul has set his Tandem price below both of the closest DZs to KC, and again he’s taking tandems 4 to 5 thousand feet higher.

Martin
Air Capital Drop Zone
Wichita Kansas


kcskydiver  (D License)

Feb 7, 2006, 8:01 AM
Post #2 of 261 (7601 views)
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     Re: [skydived19006] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

I can probably give my view on how Tommy Dolphin and Chris Hall feel about this new DZ. I have been following the progress of this DZ since I first heard about it. This DZ is going to be a major improvement over all of the DZ's that have been in KC before. Many fun jumpers here have either stopped jumping, or travel all the way to St. Louis, in order to avoid the petty politics between the current DZ's.

After Chris Hall learned of the opening of the Kansas City Skydiving Center, he went door to door, late at night, in the city of Harrisonville. He told neighbors that skydiving would be terrible for the community, that the DZ would be having hot-tub orgies, and that people would be dying left and right in their back yards, and that the property-owners would get sued when that happened. He also went to the nearby church, and told them that they would be unable to hold Sunday services anymore, due to our extremely loud aircraft. If someone wasn't home, he left a flier in their door filled with flat-out lies. He tried to pass himself off as a local concerned citizen, but what he didn't tell anyone was that he was the owner of a competing dropzone. Fortunately, the local newspaper ran an article, stating that this flier contained incorrect information.

Last night I attended the city council meeting, at which the council was going to vote on whether or not to lease the KCSC some additional office and hangar space. The first person who spoke was a local business-owner who emphasized that the community needed new, younger business, and that the KCSC would be great for the community.

After she spoke, Chris Hall stood up to speak. He represented himself as a Safety and Training Advisor, and a representative of the USPA. He then went on and on about how unsafe this operation would be and how bad it would be for the city and community. He even called the city administrator a liar, which didn't go over well with the entire board, while he spewed lie after lie.

After Chris spoke, Tommy Dolphin stood up and went on and on about how bad a dropzone would be for the local economy. He spoke in detail about the plane crash in the 90's in Independence, MO, that took 6 lives and that the board with have to live with themselves if this happened again. He also talked about insurance, and told them that they would be inadequately covered against an accident.

After they finished speaking, the mayor asked them, "if skydiving is so bad for everybody, then why are you in that business?" The city administrator also reiterated that their motives were most-likely competition-related and not safety-related. She also reminded everyone that the board was not there tonight to vote on whether or not to approve skydiving, because this approval had already been granted. The only thing the board was there to vote on was whether or not to rent out additional hangar and office space.

The board decided to table the issue until the February 21st, so that they could speak with some unbiased experts. I look forward to seeing what Chris and Tommy pull out for that meeting. Also, though they didn't speak, there was a husband and wife there with Tom and Chris, both wearing "Skydive Kansas" jackets. I think they were the smartest of the group, not making a fool out of themselves to talk about why skydiving was bad.

I, personally, think that Chris and Tommy did a dis-service to skydivers everywhere. For two DZO's to stand up in a public forum and bash skydiving, as well as the effect that it has on the local community seems against everything that a DZO should stand for. I, personally, will never jump at their DZ's. That's my two cents.

Tooth


Rick  (D 28557)

Feb 7, 2006, 8:22 AM
Post #3 of 261 (7575 views)
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     Re: [kcskydiver] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

didn't another dz just get booted by USPA for practices detrimental to skydiving?


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Feb 7, 2006, 8:32 AM
Post #4 of 261 (7555 views)
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     Re: [kcskydiver] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

This sounds like something for SkydiveRadio.

At least Georgia does not stand alone in the fucked up politics arena.Do either of the DZ work with Skyride?


.


bch7773  (C License)

Feb 7, 2006, 8:36 AM
Post #5 of 261 (7549 views)
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     Re: [skydived19006] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

I suspect many fun jumpers and also future tandems will head down to the new turbine.

I think the new DZ is a good idea, why have a few cessna DZs when you can have 1 turbine one? The other DZOs in the area badmouthing the new one is lame... it also shows that they are scared.


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Feb 7, 2006, 10:11 AM
Post #6 of 261 (7483 views)
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     Re: [skydived19006] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

One question. Who is the DZO and chief pilot of this new DZ at Harissonville?

This is the same Harrisonville, MO airport where I started flying skydivers in 1995. This is the same Harrisonville when after one fatality in 7 years the city shut down the DZ (Horizon Skydiving) for "lack of insurance". Now suddenly they are cool with it? This is the same Harrisonville airport that used the skydiving ops to gain a government grant for airport improvement and then kicked out the skydivers when it was to their convenience. They did it once. They will do it again. I would never set up a DZ at Harrisonville again.

And I really find it hard to believe that Chris went around "disguised" as a local handing out fliers. I've know Chris a few years. Something doesn't add up there in this story.

I also find it hard to believe the comments as paraphrased here of Tom Dolphin and Chris Hall. Something doesn't add up there either. Why would they say skydiving wouldn't be safe there if they are involved in skydiving ops already? Chris used to jump at Harrisonville too! Seemed safe then.


So who is the new DZO again?


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Feb 7, 2006, 10:18 AM
Post #7 of 261 (7470 views)
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     Re: [CSpenceFLY] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

In reply to:
This sounds like something for SkydiveRadio.

At least Georgia does not stand alone in the fucked up politics arena.Do either of the DZ work with Skyride?


.


Dude, you have no idea how deep the politics go in KC skydiving. It all seemed like a cult like atmosphere.


I wonder if "Rotorhead" is still running around there.


lobo  (D 24538)

Feb 7, 2006, 1:05 PM
Post #8 of 261 (7370 views)
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     Re: [skydived19006] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

Martin, you hit the nail on the head when you said, "This is America, and it is a free market." Many years ago I owned a custom canvas shop in Florida. More than once, people that I hired, trained and taught the ropes to either quit and went to work for a competitor or opened up shop to compete against me. So I worked harder and made sure our products were superior...28 years later my old company is still in business...the others are all long gone. I've been jumping for 10 years now and one of the best side effects I've had from it is making friends from all over the country...and the world! So I was REALLY disheartened last night when I was shunned by Chris, Tommy & Jen simply because I attended the meeting to show my support for my other friends, Paul & Joanna. Apparently if you don't share their views on this subject, you instantly become a stranger. That's pretty amazing to me after being friends with some of them for nine of the past 10 years. True character comes out in conflict. I wish all of you would step back and consider what you are saying and doing and reevaluate WHY you are doing it. The sky is a BIG place to share. Best wishes and best of luck...to everyone!


jdthomas  (D License)

Feb 7, 2006, 1:22 PM
Post #9 of 261 (7351 views)
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     Re: [kcskydiver] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

In reply to:

After she spoke, Chris Hall stood up to speak. He represented himself as a Safety and Training Advisor, and a representative of the USPA.
Tooth

So Chris said he was from the USPA? Does the uspa know about this and I wonder how they would feel about his actions?

Joe


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Feb 7, 2006, 1:28 PM
Post #10 of 261 (7340 views)
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     Re: [jdthomas] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

In reply to:
In reply to:

After she spoke, Chris Hall stood up to speak. He represented himself as a Safety and Training Advisor, and a representative of the USPA.
Tooth

So Chris said he was from the USPA? Does the uspa know about this and I wonder how they would feel about his actions?

Joe


Is he not an Safety and Training Advisor? If he is then he is allowed to "advise" on anything skydiving he sees that he needs to. It's part of his duty as a S&TA. S&TA's are not assigned to one DZ only. They have a duty at any DZ they happen to be at. Now, as a DZO, he has created a conflict for his statements and will be tainted as such.

I really hope this is all blown out of proportion but as I know from the KC scene there is nothing easy about "just jumping".


BASE864  (D 19721)

Feb 7, 2006, 1:49 PM
Post #11 of 261 (7319 views)
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     Re: [lobo] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

In reply to:
Apparently if you don't share their views on this subject, you instantly become a stranger. True character comes out in conflict.
If memory serves me correctly, Mr. Dolphin reacted in a similar matter when a DZ was propsed in Kearney, MO. He hasn't changed a bit. Too bad - he has such a nice place. It's a shame he has to show his true colors and force the KC skydiving crowd to vote with their wallet. I wouldn't jump at his place if he paid me to.

Edit to add:
I can't wait for the new DZ to open - I'll check it out and see if it's worth spending my money there. Everyone in KC knows a new DZ is needed to flush out those nasty politics and give the other DZ's a run with some friendly competition.


(This post was edited by BASE864 on Feb 7, 2006, 1:50 PM)


freefal  (D 19162)

Feb 7, 2006, 2:24 PM
Post #12 of 261 (7282 views)
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     Re: [BASE864] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

Is there anyone who could get a copy of some meeting minutes from the city council to prove or disprove the allegations about Chris and Tom acting so poorly? (I checked online but could only find minutes from last year's meetings.) It would be good to clear the air before everyone goes on a witch hunt after them or tries to boycott their businesses based on something we read on this forum. I know several people (including me) who don't jump at these DZ for other reasons, but anything we can do to show unity among skydivers when we're viewed as a group from the public or governement point of view would be very helpful.

I know the next Council meeting is on Feb 21 at 7:00 PM, but I can't make it. If you live in the area and can go, I would recommend going to show your support and to avoid any mud slinging reports by having as many eyes and ears at the meeting as possible. In the mean time, I'm going to try to find out if there is a certain person or address at the City Council we could individually write to with emails and/or letters of support telling them about how all of us KC area skydivers are looking forward to coming down there and spending money in their gas stations, restaurants, hotels, etc. all because of this new DZ? I think a big stack of individual letters would carry a lot more weight than any type of petition or list of promises from the masses.


lobo  (D 24538)

Feb 7, 2006, 2:51 PM
Post #13 of 261 (7246 views)
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     Re: [freefal] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

Thor, I couldn't agree with you more. Accentuate the positive, and reap the benefits! Cool


Elisha  (D 31656)

Feb 7, 2006, 2:55 PM
Post #14 of 261 (7241 views)
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     Re: [skydived19006] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

Any of you MO/KS folk know of the new DZ started by Doug Behrick? He moved out from the north SF Bay Area. Just curious where it is and if the local politics is peeved as well.


KCSkydivingCtr

Feb 7, 2006, 3:15 PM
Post #15 of 261 (7221 views)
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     Re: [freefal] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

We appreciate all of your support! Please send any correspondence to:

Harrisonville Board of Aldermen
c/o Dianna Wright, City Administrator
cadmin@ci.harrisonville.mo.us

Although we regret that the information contained in this thread is true, we refuse to get involved in dropzone politics. We feel our energy is better spent promoting skydiving for everyone.

See you April 1st!


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Feb 7, 2006, 3:26 PM
Post #16 of 261 (7206 views)
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     Re: [KCSkydivingCtr] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

In reply to:
We appreciate all of your support! Please send any correspondence to:

Harrisonville Board of Aldermen
c/o Dianna Wright, City Administrator
cadmin@ci.harrisonville.mo.us

Although we regret that the information contained in this thread is true, we refuse to get involved in dropzone politics. We feel our energy is better spent promoting skydiving for everyone.

See you April 1st!


April first? Are you kidding? No... really. Are you kidding?


skybeergodd

Feb 7, 2006, 3:37 PM
Post #17 of 261 (7192 views)
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     Re: [Elisha] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

I believe he is still trying to get started....but I can tell you he is trying to set-up his operation near Rolla MO. on Rolla/Vichey airport. Nice airport but it's an older flight club type atmosphere there and I think he may get mired down in good ole boy politics for alittle while.


alw  (C 35179)

Feb 7, 2006, 3:39 PM
Post #18 of 261 (7190 views)
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     Re: [skydived19006] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

Well now, is it the air or the water in the area or maybe it's just that there's nothing better to do in the winter. KC is such a nice "family" town.

I lived in the area for 8 years and still have a daughter there. I wondered why there wasn't a DZ closer in with a turbine. Glad to see one going on line. That doesn't mean I won't visit other DZ's when I visit.

I live in Orlando, which seems to be a skydiving epicenter - 6 DZ's to choose from as a home DZ. Each with their own personality and charm (jeeesh - did I say "charm"?) Well yeah, charm. Something there for everyone - why should it be any different anywhere else.

The challenge in KC isn't to fight for the few but to convince the rest. If they work together they could all benefit. If they don't, there's always the friendliest DZ'z in the area (in Kansas Wink).


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Feb 7, 2006, 4:14 PM
Post #19 of 261 (7163 views)
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     Re: [diverdriver] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

What? April 1st is on a Sat this year. I think thats about when we are opening for the year too.


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Feb 7, 2006, 5:02 PM
Post #20 of 261 (7134 views)
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     Re: [PhreeZone] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

In reply to:
What? April 1st is on a Sat this year. I think thats about when we are opening for the year too.


New Dz. Lots of hullaboloo about it opening. It's opening on April Fool's Day. You don't see the irony?


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Feb 7, 2006, 5:53 PM
Post #21 of 261 (7085 views)
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     Re: [diverdriver] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

I guess so but since the DZO seems to be coming in with a Caravan and knowing his last DZ is probally providing it... I'll stop by if I'm ever in Kansas again.


BigBird  (D 26284)

Feb 7, 2006, 6:01 PM
Post #22 of 261 (7080 views)
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     Re: [diverdriver] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

Ah sweet irony. It's the perfect day to open a DZ.
All up-jumpers care about is having the most fun , from the highest altitude, with the fastest turn-around. And those that provide it will generally do quite well.




Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends


justthefacts

Feb 7, 2006, 6:41 PM
Post #23 of 261 (7056 views)
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     Re: [kcskydiver] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

I visited this site on a tip from other area skydivers, and was compelled to join today just to post and address the misinformation.

I was also in attendance for the entire meeting and I noticed [kcskydiver] left out the most important factor as to why the council tabled the decision for more information. Available to all the public to peruse and take home were copies of a letter from the lifeflight operation based at the airport. Here are quotes from that letter written by Chuck Walker, director of program operations of lifeflight...

"During our meeting, we discussed a drop zone that was as close as 200 ft to the lifeflight eagle helipad. This close proximity poses a hazard to the skydivers as well as the the lifeflight crews. Since our meeting, I have spoken with a number of helicopter emergency medical services(HEMS) providers who work in the same area as skydiving centers. They recommend at least a 3,000 foot separation between between helicopters and skydiving operations. The close proximity proposed has the potential of delaying our response because we would not be able to start our aircraft with jumpers in the air."

"On Febuary 1st, I met with James Green and Paul and Joanna Eriksmoen at the airport to discuss the proposed skydiving center at the airport and how this operation would impact lifeflight eagle operations. For the reasons discussed at this and our previous meeting , I made it clear that lifeflight eagle does not endorse the skydiving center and we believe it to be the wrong mix for the mission that we support."

"Notwithstanding any procedures that we may ultimately agree upon, the skydiving center will pose and additional hazard to our operation at the airport. The Eriksmoen's assure us that they want to be good "neighbors", and I am confident that they are sincere. However, I believe their ability to deliver on these promises may be beyond their control."

Also in the packet of information was a copy of the proposed lease agreement between the city and the new skydiving center. One statement caught my eye...

" KC Skydiving Center will maintain 3rd party insurance to cover damage to private property if a skydiver lands off the airport property. A skydiver landing on private property is trespassing and the KC Skydiving Center will require the participants to sign a document ackowledging private property landings are prohibited."

I understand that those landing out on private property face prosecution from the surrounding land owners.


gthomas101  (C 23874)

Feb 7, 2006, 6:43 PM
Post #24 of 261 (7052 views)
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     Re: [BigBird] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

First off I know both dropzone owners and I know for a fact that they would never speak a bad word about skydiving or bash the sport.

I agree with every skydiver out there that the higher we go and the faster we can get back in the air makes us all happy skydivers. But, at what cost? I also agree it would be nice to have a turbin in the kansas city area, but before we all jump for joy lets ask our neighbors on the other side of the state how the drozones are doing with turbins, are they making money are they feeding there families with a turbine. Face it folks , If you own a dropzone you are a bussiness owner and you have to make money, the DZOs that were there at the meeting were invited they did not just show up. They have a right to voice there opinions on a subject that might take food from there families mouths and yes Im sure they are concerned, wouldnt you be? They also have a right to be concerned about safety, after all what the new dropzone does affects everybody, no person out there wanting to make a tandem wants to see a incident on the evening news.

I think the biggest problem I see is a new dropzone with big promises coming in , stiring up the pot and not staying in bussiness. In the mean time dropzones in the area that have worked there asses off to make a living here for years might not be able to make it through this, in my opinion.

Now my biggest bitch about all of this is the post on on the events forum promises wonderful boogies, hot air , and so on, this is all great but if this area could support that wouldnt you think it would already be happening, as the old boys back home would say you can put jellie on a shit sandwich but its still going to taste like shit. now thats my one jab and ill leave it at that. I hope the new DZOs will learn something from this skydivers are fickle and they will go somewhere else if somthing better comes along, except for the ones who are loyal to there dropzones. are you going to have enough loyal people just starting out to pay for a turbine or are you going to find out why there are only 182 dropzones in the area.

alright now you whinning bastards can fire away. but this weekend im going to my dropzone and jump out of my little 182 and smile a hell of alot because the DZO needs dumbasses like me to jump when is really fucking cold out so they can keep the doors open.

Gary


Elisha  (D 31656)

Feb 7, 2006, 6:53 PM
Post #25 of 261 (7043 views)
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     Re: [skybeergodd] The Kansas City Skydiving Center, What Will Be The Affect? [In reply to]  

In reply to:
I believe he is still trying to get started....but I can tell you he is trying to set-up his operation near Rolla MO. on Rolla/Vichey airport. Nice airport but it's an older flight club type atmosphere there and I think he may get mired down in good ole boy politics for alittle while.

I have no idea where those places are, but thanks for the update!


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